Have you ever wondered how to know love? Real, true love from someone who’s not just out to get something from you? Here’s the answer.
Jim thought that he’d found true love, but then Marie broke his heart. He thought she truly loved him, and was considering asking her to marry him. But then, with no explanation, she abruptly broke it off. But three weeks later he got the following letter from her … “Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie. P.S. Congratulations on winning the lottery.”
If only it were always so easy to tell when someone’s main goal is only to take advantage of you.
Today’s verse begins by saying THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHAT LOVE IS …
If you’ve been part of Mornings with Bishop Robert for some time, you know that each day I post a visual version of the scripture verse for that day. Today’s image features a person standing on a hilltop, a great distance away. So far that they almost cannot be seen. An arrow points to them. Also, the text of the bible verse is very, very small. The only easily readable words are “Jesus Christ,” all the rest are pretty much illegible until you get very close. I almost discarded the image and decided not to use it. Then the Lord said to me, “You’re about to miss the entire lesson.”
As I kept looking at the image, I got it.
Even while you’re looking at the person, you cannot miss the name “Jesus Christ” since the letters of His name are so bold. To reach that person and even try to engage in a discussion would require massive effort. Clearly seen in the image are several hills, and the distance is obviously great. Of course, it’s not just the physical distance that needs to be considered. Even if we travelled across all those hills and valleys and finally reached the person, there’s no guarantee they’d even want to speak with us.
The lesson hidden within the image is that Jesus has gone a great distance to reach us. He comes and offers us something He knows we need desperately and can find nowhere else. Coming to us cost Him dearly, in fact, it cost Him His life. The verse I’m quoting today continues in its explanation — THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHAT LOVE IS: JESUS CHRIST LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US.
He didn’t just come and talk about love. He demonstrated His love. It’s been said that love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible. I think a demonstrated love is harder to resist, but it can still be ignored. And, actually, that is where we come into the picture.
You see, the full verse today says THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHAT LOVE IS: JESUS CHRIST LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US. AND WE OUGHT TO LAY DOWN OUR LIVES FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
It’s as we who know Jesus decide to follow His example and live out His love that people get to see the impact of it in a way that’s up close and personal. We tell people that coming into a relationship with Jesus will change their lives, give them peace and power, let them live miracles and walk in blessing. We can talk about the love of Jesus, but love talked about can be easily turned aside. The question is this – Can the people we speak to ACTUALLY SEE His love being demonstrated by us? Can they see how the love of Jesus has changed us and our lives? Are our lives controlled by our love for Him?
A situation was told to me about a twenty year old girl named Jan who’d been invited to a party. Someone in the group suggested that they go to a certain restaurant, a place known for allowing underage drinking. “I’d rather you took me home,” Jan said to her date. “My parents don’t approve of that place.” “Are you afraid your father will hurt you if he finds out?” one of the girls said sarcastically. “No,” Jan replied, “I’m afraid I might hurt my Father.” She understood that true love is expressed in our choices.
A certain medieval monk announced he would be teaching Sunday evening on “How To Know Love.” As evening fell a large congregation gathered. In the darkness the monk approached the altar, lighted a candle and carried it to the cross. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the church.
There was nothing else to say.